By Yankuba Jallow
Private lawyers hired by the State to prosecute former officials of the National Intelligence Agency have filed a fresh motion before the Gambia Court of Appeal asking the latter to stay proceedings in the NIA 9 Case at the High Court.
The filing of the motion is triggered by the refusal of the defendants to participate in the trial after their request for the trial judge to recuse herself from the case failed to bear fruits.
Earlier, the prosecution team headed by senior lawyer Antouman A.B. Gaye succeeded in staying the case at the High Court. However, lawyers for Yankuba Badjie appealed against the decision and it was overturned by the Gambia Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal directed High Court Judge (Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara) to continue hearing the case because the decision to stay the proceedings was unreasonable.
However, following the recent decision of the accused persons to vent their disapproval over the failure of the high court judge to recuse herself from hearing the case, the prosecution lawyers filed a motion at the Court of appeal seeking an order directing High Court Judge, Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara to stay the proceedings in the case of the National Intelligence Agency.
The accused persons in the NIA 9 Case were Yankuba Badjie, the former Director General NIA, Sheikh Omar Jeng alias Sir Jeng, a former deputy director of operations, Baboucar Sallah, Tamba Masireh, Haruna Suso, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang.
On Wednesday, 21st April 2021, the Justices of the Court of Appeal presided over the fresh case brought by the prosecution against the defendants seeking a stay of proceedings in the case at the High Court.
Prosecutors said they brought this fresh motion seeking a stay of proceedings because the accused persons, who are demanding for the trial judge to be changed, have refused to continue participating in the case.
On Wednesday, Lawyer Paulin Bakurim for Yankuba Badjie said she was served with the processes on Tuesday, thus, she needed time to look into them.
Justice Omar M.M. Njie, the President of the Gambia Court of Appeal adjourned the case to 5th May 2021 at 10 am for mention. The other judges were Haddy Cecilia Roche and Basiru V.P. Mahoney.